Start DropBox as a shared service on a server (or client PC used by multiple users)

Sometimes, you'll want to run DropBox as a service rather than as a foreground app. If you want to sync a server share , or if you want the same account to available to multiple users on the same machine, without creating a seperate synced folder copy for each user that logs on. Here's how to set it up:

If you have installed Dropbox onto the computer you will be configuring it for, uninstall it for each user that has it installed!

Step 1. Create an a new Service Account in Windows

Open Control Panel.
Open Add or Remove User Accounts.
Add a new Administrator account called ServiceAccount.
Give the account a password and keep track of it . This is critical. Don’t skip this step.
Log in as the ServiceAccount.
Step 2. Download, Install and Configure Dropbox

Visit and download the client.
Install the client, configure it for your Dropbox account, but choose a custom installation.
Change the target for your Dropbox folder to the root of your hard drive. Don’t panic – this will create a “Dropbox” folder on your hard drive and put everything in here. This is important.
Once installed and you see that files are syncing, open Dropbox Preferences.
Disable “Show Desktop Notifications” and “Start Dropbox on System Startup”.
Save the settings.
Shut down Dropbox by right clicking the icon in the tray and selecting “Exit”.
Step 3. Download Microsoft Server 2003 Resource Kit and Configure Service

This is an important step. With the Windows Server 2003 Resource Kit, Microsoft included an application that can run what are normally “Desktop” applications as a service.

Install the Resource Kit to C:\Program Files (x86)\Resource Kit.
Open a Command Prompt as Administrator.
Type the following and hit enter:
sc create Dropbox binPath= “C:\Program Files (x86)\Resource Kit\srvany.exe” DisplayName= “Dropbox Service”
Click Start/Control Panel/Administrative Tools/Services.
Double Click the Dropbox Service.
Change the startup to “Automatic”.
Switch to the LogOn Tab. Enter the credentials for the ServiceAccount.
Click OK.
Step 4. Define Service Parameters

Now we are going to put it all together and setup the Dropbox to start as a the Service we just created.

Click Start/Run.
Type regedit and press enter.
Browse to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Dropbox
Create a new key called Parameters.
Inside the Parameters key, create a new REG_SZ value called Application.
Set the Application value to the location of the Dropbox executable. It will be found in the profile of your service account – similar to C:\Users\ServiceAccount\AppData\Roaming\Dropbox\bin\Dropbox.exe
Close Regedit.
Step 5. Fire it up!

At this point, you should be able to start the service by rebooting your computer. To verify it’s working, try adding some files to your drop box from a different computer and check your C:\Dropbox folder on your dropbox-sync enabled computer – your files should sync up.

Using this configuration, Dropbox will always be syncing in the background when the computer is on. It won’t matter what user is logged in! All users on this computer now have access to the Dropbox folder!